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Current Affairs Today – October 2 2016

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BRICS Education Summit held in New Delhi
The 4th Meeting of BRICS Education Ministers Conference held in New Delhi  to promote education cooperation and people to people exchanges among the BRICS countries.
New Delhi Declaration on Education :
i. New Delhi Declaration on Education adopted by the BRICS in the BRICS Education Summit
to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote “life-long learning opportunities for all” and the “Education 2030 Framework for Action“.
ii. It would initiate actions to formulate country-specific targets within the broader scope of the SDG4 and corresponding targets.
iii. It would integrate the SDG4-related targets with the national and sub-national-level education sector development plans/programmes and build capacity at the national and subnational levels for measuring and monitoring progress towards SDG4 and corresponding targets using the indicators adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2016.

Centre constituted Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India
i. The Centre has constituted a four-member Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) under the Chairmanship of Madhusudan Sahoo. According to an official order, his appointment has been approved for a period of five years by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet.
ii. The oath of office was administered by Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister ArunJaitley. Sahoo is at present a member of the Competition Commission of India. The board would regulate the functioning of insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities.
iii. The members of the IBBI are Ajay Tyagi, Additional Secretary, Finance Ministry; Amardeep Singh Bhatia, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs; G.S. Yadav, Joint Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs; and Unnikrishnan, Legal Advisor, Reserve Bank of India.
iv.T he main function of IBBI would be to regulate the functioning of insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016.
v.The Centre had notified the Insolvency Code in May this year. The fact that IBBI has been constituted in a span of four months is a commendable effort.

Guj CM Vijay Rupani inaugurated ‘Lamp of Humanity’
i. Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani inaugurated a 34-ft long ‘Lamp of Humanity’ in Ahmedabad, as part of the Vibrant Navratri celebrations.
ii. The lamp is made up of stainless steel34-feet long  and has a diameter of 15.8 feet, with the authorities claiming that the initiative has already entered the Guinness Book of World Records, as the ‘world’s biggest lamp’.
iii. The Navratri 2016 celebrations would last till few days of this month and the tourism department is expecting that more than eight lakh people would take part in the event, out of which over three lakh would be foreigners.
iv. The man behind the idea to promote tourism to this extent is our Prime Minister Modi. Lamp of HumanityIt was only because of his idea that Gujarat’s culture is now known to the world was announced by Kamlesh Patel, Chairman, Gujarat Tourism.
♦ Capital: Gandhi Nagar.
♦ Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani.
♦ Governor:Om Prakash Koli.

Arunachal CM flagged off all-women Mt Gorichen expedition
i. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu flagged off an all-women Mt Gorichen expedition.This would be the first all women team attempting to summit the second highest peak of the state, which is considered as a technical peak and only seasoned climbers can make it to the top (6,488 m).
ii. Anshu Jansempa, who climbed Mt Everest twice, would lead the team of 10 members from states like Jammu and Kashmir (Ladakh), Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkimand Arunachal Pradesh with four support staff.
iii. Department of Sports and Youth Affairs and Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMFjointly took the stepabout the expedition. The main objective of the all-women expedition is to promote women empowerment besides, promoting adventure tourism in the state.
iv.In 1939, an Englishman Bill Tilman was the first man to attempt climbing in the remote and unexplored Southern approaches of Gorichen, before his team succumbed to malaria. In 1993, the mountain received its first ascent by a team led by Dutchman Ronald Naar.


India formally joined the Paris Climate Change Agreement
i. India formally joined the Paris Climate Change Agreement. It is been done by submitting its instrument of ratification at UN headquarters in New York on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
ii. European Union ministers approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement at a historic meeting of the Environment Council in Brussels .The 28 EU member nations together account for close to 12 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions
iii. The Paris treaty had already crossed the first requirement of 55 countries ratifying the treaty to enable its entry into force on September 21 at the UN Secretary-General’s special ratification ceremony organised at the UN headquarters.
iv. During that ceremony, 31 countries had submitted their ratification instruments to the UN, bringing the total count of ratifying parties to 60.As of now 62 countries have ratified the deal including India.

India’s RTI Act ranked 4th best in the world
i. India’s Right to Information (RTI) Act, that was passed in the year 2005, is widely is ranked as  4th best in the world.
ii. The rankings were based on the strength of the legal frameworks that ensure the efficient implementation of the act. Mexico has topped the rankings, followed by Serbia and Slovenia.
India's RTI Act rabked 4th in the Worldiii. India scored a total of 128 out of 150 points. While India scored well in terms of Right to Access, it lost 5 points in ‘Scope’ since the law exempts certain organizations from its ambit and also, does not explicitly include private organizations that perform a public function.
iv. India’s RTI law scored 26 in the ‘Exceptions’ category since the ‘harm test’ is not applicable to all the exemptions mentioned in Section 8 of the RTI Act.
v. India scored the highest on ‘Appeals’ (29 out of 30). In the ‘Sanctions’ category, India scored 5 out of the 8, since there is no strong legal protection for whistle blowers. India scored 13 out of 16 in the ‘Promotional Measures’category since there are no prescribed standards for record management and they are not followed in practice.


Black money worth Rs.65,250 crore disclosed under Income Declaration Scheme: Arun Jaitley
i. Finance minister ArunJaitley announced that the government would earn
an estimated Rs.30,000 crore
after thousands of Indians revealed previously undeclared money under a one-time opportunity to clean up their accounts.
ii. Union Finance Minister ArunJaitley  announced that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had received total disclosures of Rs.65,250 crore under the Income Disclosure Scheme, 2016 in the form of cash and other assets.
iii. Addressing a press conference, Jaitleyreported that Rs.8, 000 crore have been assessed out of HSBC list and the figure would be revised upwards as the tax department was still processing some declarations.
iv. Black money arises mainly from incomes not disclosed to the government, usually to avoid taxation and sometimes because of its criminal links.
v. The so-called ‘Panama Papers’ include the names of about 500 Indians who have allegedly invested in offshore companies. In Panama cases, 250 references have been given to other countries and investigation is progressing in good pace. People who figured in the HSBC list, about Rs 8,000 crore assessment have been complete.164 prosecutions have been filed

Kotak Mahindra Bank acquires BSS Microfinance
i. Kotak Mahindra Bank has acquired Karnataka-focused BSS Microfinance for Rs 139.2 crore.Kotak Mahindra Bank
ii. This acquisition will allow Kotak to tap the lower end of the customer base and will also help the bank in meeting the priority sector lending (PSL) targets.
iii. BSS Microfinance is a non-banking financial company, classified as an NBFC-MFI.
iv. Total turnover of BSS Microfinance in 2015-16 was Rs 49.5 crore.


Gujarat world heritage site: Rani Ki Vav bagged ‘Cleanest Iconic Place’ award
i. Two of the five major Swachh Bharat awards to be presented by the Centre are likely to go to Gujarat.UNESCO-approved Rani Ki Vav at Patan in Gujarat was set to get the “cleanest monument award“ while textile city Sura twas  likely to get the tag of the city with cleanest railway station.
ii. Gujarat’s 900-year-old World Heritage Site Rani ki Vav beat 10 other iconic heritage structures across the country to bag an award for the “Cleanest Iconic Place” at the Indian Sanitation Conference (INDOSAN) 2016 at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi The monument was felicitated at the conference, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendea Modi.
Ran ki Vav - gujarat heritage sitesiii. Nearly 1,200 stakeholders of Swachh Bharat, mostly district collectors, villages heads, sanitation specialists, NGO workers, mayors and municipal commissioners  were expected to take part in the event .
iv. Rani Ki Vav is an intricately constructed stepwell on the banks of
Saraswati river.Built as a memorial to an 11th century AD king, it was added to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in June 2014
v. Confirming the development, Patan Prant Officer A R Jhala announced Since October 2, 2014, there had been a lot of work and activities related to Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) at the Rani kiVav, which has made it a well-maintained monument


S SIVAKUMAR – appointed as full time member of 21st Law Commission
The Union Government has appointed S. Sivakumar as a full-time Member of the 21st Law Commission of India (LCI). The 21st Law Commission was constituted for a period of three years from 1 September, 2015. The commission will have its tenure only till 31 August 2018.But the present Law Commission has surprisingly not submitted any report till date.
About Law Commission of India :
i. Law Commission of India is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India. Its membership primarily comprises legal experts, who are entrusted a mandate by the Government. The Commission is established for a fixed tenure and works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.
ii. The first Law Commission was established during the British Raj era in 1834 by the Charter Act of 1833. After that, three more Commissions were established in pre-independent India. The first Law Commission of independent India was established in 1955 for a three-year term. Since then, nineteen more Commissions have been established.
iii. The 20th Law Commission was established in 2013 under the Chairmanship of Supreme Court Judge, D.K Jain.
iv. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval on the Constitution of the 21st Law Commission of India, for a period of three years w.e.f. 1st September. 2015 to 31st August, 2018.

Indian-American in US named to 2016 class of the ‘Jerger Future Leaders of Audiology
i. The American Academy of Audiology has named Dr. Vinaya Manchaiah, an Indian American associate professor and director of audiology at Lamar University, to the 2016 class of Jerger Future Leaders of Audiology.
ii.Vinaya Manchaiah is one of only a dozen individuals selected nationwide for the honour. Audiology is a branch of science that studies hearing, balance, and related disorders.
iii.Manchaiah is the Jo Mayo Endowed Professor and holds a Ph.D. in disability research from Linkoping University, Sweden, an executive M.B.A. from Swansea University, United Kingdom, the Doctor of Audiology from Nova Southeastern University, M.S. in Audiology from the University of Southampton, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Speech and Hearing from the University of Mysore, India.Leaders of Audiology
iv.Manchaiah is co-founder and director for strategic planning for the non-profit non-governmental organization Audiology India, for which he served as president from 2011 to 2015. The organization seeks to foster ear and hearing health care in India.
v.The American Academy of Audiology is the world’s largest professional organization for audiologists. The active membership of more than 12,000 is dedicated to providing quality hearing care services through professional development, education, research, and increased public awareness of hearing and balance disorders.


World-first robotic surgeon with sense of touch created
i. Surgeons using robots to conduct keyhole surgery would  now be given the sense of touch thanks to a game-changing innovation.
ii. The HeroSurg robot is a major breakthrough
to current technology, which now limits robotic surgery to the sense of sight, and means laparoscopic or keyhole/micro surgery would be safer and more accurate than ever before by reducing trauma and lowering risk of blood loss and infection.
iii. Engineers from Deakin and Harvard developed the robot along with Professor Suren Krishnan, the first Australian surgeon to use the da Vinci robotic surgical system for ear, nose and throat procedures in 2008.
iv. HeroSurg’s addition of the sense of touch, provided through technology known as haptic feedback, would lead to better patient outcomes. The major drawback of the current system is the lack of tactile feedback..
v. HeroSurg would assist surgeons to perform demanding surgical procedures with comfort, accuracy and safety by providing real-time collision avoidance for medical instruments, and stereo-endoscopic vision.


T.N. tops list of endemic flowering plan
Tamil Nadu accounts for the highest number of species with 410, followed by Kerala with 357 and Maharashtra with 278 in a recent Publication by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).Scientists of the BSI have listed at least 37 species of Black plum Syzyguim (Jamun), 10 varieties of Musa (banana), along with 274 species of orchids, which are found only in the country. Four different varieties of roses, two herbs and two climbers and 12 species of jasmines are exclusively found in India.
Of the 18,259 flowering plants reported in the country, 4,303 (over 23 per cent) are found only in India, as per scientific data in the book title ‘Endemic Vascular Plants of India’
. Around 53 per cent of all endemic flowering plants are herbs, 20 per cent are shrubs and 15 per cent are trees.
Geographical distribution of endemic plants :
The two regions are among the biodiversity hot spots of the country are Western Ghats  – 2,116 species and Eastern Himalayas – 466 species.
Endemic Species  :
i. This includes 45 species belonging to the common black pepper family, 19 species of ginger and 13 different kinds of large cardamom. There are also 40 species of bamboos (Bambusoideae).
ii. A total of 58 generea of flowering plants have been found to be endemic to India.
iii. 19, 635 vascular plants found in the country, 4,381 are endemic. This includes 4,303 angiosperms or flowering plants, 12 gymnosperms – mostly Cycads, and 66 ferns and fern allies which come under the group Pteridophytes.
iv. Among the most widely exploited endemic plants in country is Pterocarpus santalinus(red sandal wood) which is found only in the southern parts of the Eastern Ghats. This plant is classified as critically endangered under International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN) category.

Mexico’s erupting Colima volcano forces evacuation
i. Mexico’s Colima volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the country and Central America has erupted, spewing a large plume of ash and thick black smoke into the sky and forcing the evacuation of two nearby villages.
ii. This volcano is located in western Mexico between the states of Colima and Jalisco, about 500 kilometres from Mexico City.
iii. Colima, also known as fuego — or fire — has had more than 30 periods of eruption since 1585, including several significant eruptions in the late 1990s and Scientific monitoring of the volcano began 20 years ago.

Ancient Roman, Ottoman coins found in ruined Japanese castle
i. Scientists have discovered a bunch of ancient Roman and Ottoman coins from the ruins of an old castle in Japan.
Ottoman coinsii. Since 2013, archaeologists from Uruma Board of Education in Japan have been excavating the Katsuren castle — a UNESCO world heritage site located in Okinawa.
iii. The total of ten ancient coins were discovered by Toshio Tsukamoto, a researcher from Gangoji temple cultural properties department.
iv. Using X-ray technology, Hiroyuki Miyagi of Okinawa International University found that the Ottoman coin had inscriptions that dated it to 1687, while the Roman coins appeared to be much older — from at least 300 to 400 AD.


Manikandan Kumar wins Gold medal in IFSC Para Climbing Cup
i.  Manikandan Kumar, country’s most successful para climber won the Gold medal in IFSC Para Climbing Cup in the United Kingdom.
ii.Kumar became the first and the only Indian climber to have won three Gold medals, seven Silver medals and a Bronze medal.
iii. The Indian para climber had also claimed a Silver medal in the IFSC Para Climbing World Cup in Italy and a Bronze medal in the para climbing World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria.

Kieren Dsouza became the first Indian to complete World’s toughest race, Spartathlon
iThe Spartathlon, an annual run between Athens in Sparta in Greece has a circuit which lasts for 246.6 km was widely considered The world’s toughest race till date only 50 % of the runners have successfully completed this race, with India having little to no success.
Kieren Dsouzaii. Bengaluru’s Kieren Dsouza had changed all that today. In a run that lasted, 33 hours three minutes and 25 seconds, the 23-year old defied the odds to become the first ever Indian to finish it.
iii. A 23-year-old from Faridabad, Haryana would be the first Indian among the 305 participants. The runners would cover 246km (153 miles) from Sparta to Athens, Greece within the cut-off time of 36 hours. The race will be from the 30th of September to the 1st of October, 2016.
iv. There have only been 28 finishers so far in the under-25 age bracket. Kieren finished the 100km trail race, UTMB CCC (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc – Courmayeur Champex Chamonix), in August 2015 in 18:46:02.
v. Kieren is doing a good amount of mileage at a certain pace. He does 30km – 50km a day at a 12km/hour pace. He had focused on mileage before but speed is important as well.


147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – October 2 2016
The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. This day is referred as Gandhi Jayanti in India
Gandhi Jayanthi Celebration : 
♦ The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi. He launched a booklet on Yoga Protocol for Diabetes control, and distributed prizes to winners of the ‘Know India’ Quiz at the exhibition on “Gandhi – Ek Pravasi.
♦ Department of Posts releases two Commemorative Stamps Rs.25 and Rs.5 on Gandhi Jayanti
2nd anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission :
i. Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh first States to become Open Defecation Free in urban areas
ii. The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh attended the ‘Swachhta Rally‘ and felicitated those who made contribution to the ‘Cleanliness Drive’. He also administered ‘Swachhta Shapath‘ (Cleanliness pledge)
iii. Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu awarded Katyayan with a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh to Katyayan Shivpuri for his work Muruga
iv. Union Ministry of Tourism has conferred the ‘Cleanest Tourist Destination’ on Sikkim capital, Gangtok and Clean Cities in million plus population category award to two citiesChandigarh and Mysore